Close your social-media accounts

Admittedly, I enjoy reading social media. I spend a lot of time scanning Twitter despite not having an account. Too much time, I confess. I did set up an Instagram account recently after I started to learn photography. I made a decision not to post personal things there, only my professional photographs, but I’m already thinking of deleting it. I like that when I meet someone new in person, I am a blank slate in their eyes. Or I am a friend of a friend, or a former colleague of a classmate, etc. I am not those photos from 2007 that I wish I could make disappear. I realize there are ways to restrict photos. Many photos I am in have been posted without my knowing, but those are not all in one place for the world to see. I am not merely a series of images in chronological order all compiled in one virtual location whose security depends on the benevolence and competence of a few guys and gals in Silicon Valley. How long until a social-justice-warrior employee at Facebook starts leaking the off-color jokes in private messages sent by people he doesn’t like?

My advice: Delete your Facebook, yesterday. Don’t get your news from Twitter. The issues of free speech on social media will no longer matter to you. They don’t matter to me. I’ve made a decision not to subjugate myself to the whims of our new overlords. They can open their platform to everyone from neo-Nazis to Kim Jong-un, or they can have a litmus test that includes denouncing Donald Trump or the pope at regular intervals — a sort of school-bathroom pass fitting for our generation’s extended adolescence in which Mark Zuckerberg plays the schoolmarm. It won’t affect my life either way. In my own mind at least, I am free because these things no longer define my life. I am happier as a result. I can still read a book of some length, an ability I see dropping off sharply among my peers.